There are huge differences between teaching children and teaching adults. Both have different learning styles, grasping and understanding power, and both connect to their teacher at different levels. You’ll also require different sets of teaching and learning materials for them.
In this write-up, we will guide you through the teaching methods for an ESL adult classroom, ESL books for adults, ESL resources for teachers, and many more. Keep reading to understand how and what to teach adults in an ESL classroom.
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Differences between Teaching ESL to Adults and Teaching ESL to Kids
If you want to excel in your career of teaching ESL to adults, the first thing you need to understand is the differences between teaching an adult and a kid.
Lesser Repetition on Your Part – Children learn more with repetition, and they actually enjoy that. You need not and cannot ask your adult students to repeat ‘Old McDonald had a farm’ 26 times. While teaching adults, you need to focus more on explaining the concepts.
You Need More Efficiency – Kids normally come to ESL classes because their school or parents want them to. But, adults typically join ESL classes with an end goal in their mind. They may want to enter a certain degree, get a promotion, or need go to a foreign country with English as the main language. Whatever the reason, adults will demand more efficiency on your part, and they can be quicker to judge.
You need to be More Empathetic – Kids typically have a carefree life while adults walk everywhere with their bundles of stress. You never know what a person might be going through in their life. So, you need to be more empathetic while dealing with your adult students.
Connecting with Adult Students while teaching them in an English as a Second Language (ESL) Classroom
Making a connection with students is imperative when you are dealing with adults rather than children. With adults, you cannot keep giving lectures or planning out the lecture as you please. Remember, every student in an adult ESL class comes with their own motto or end goal. In order to deliver the best result, you’ll need to understand your student’s goals individually.
Talk to Them – The best way to understand each student’s goal is to talk to them. Be friendly and ask your student to clearly define their goals for joining ESL classes.
Try to Incorporate Practical Lessons – You cannot just rely on a few sets of books for teaching adults. Remember, they are here for practical reasons and not just to learn a language. So, try incorporating practical lessons and real-world communication in your class.
Give Extra Dose of Encouragement – Adults are not carefree as kids; they fear judgment. So, you’ll need extra effort to make adult students participate in class. Highlight your non-judgmental, empathetic side and give them an extra dose of encouragement to participate in class.
What Things do You Need to Include in Your Adult ESL Classroom?
ESL classes are meant to teach the English language to those who are not native English speakers. So, an ESL teacher needs to include all those topics in the curriculum that can make a non-native person a fluent English speaker.
Vocabulary – We cannot learn or practice any language without a rich vocabulary. Adult students should be referred to English Learning Books that strengthen their word power.
Grammar – The next important thing after vocabulary is the knowledge of grammar. Every language has its rules and regulation encoded in grammar. But, explaining the rules of grammar is very different for kids and adults. So, you must have your hands on important English Grammar Books for Adults.
Language Skills – A knowledge of vocabulary and grammar is not enough to make someone a fluent English speaker. You need to do some activities to make your adult students practice speaking and writing English with confidence.
If you are not very sure or confident about acing your role as an ESL teacher for adults, you can consult some good ESL resources for teachers. It is important for you to keep learning if you want to make your students learn fast.
Important Resources You Need to Start Teaching ESL to Adults
As discussed above, you need some good resources at your disposal if you want to be a good teacher to your adult ESL students. Here we are providing a hand-curated list of a few resources to help you get started as an ESL teacher to adults.
Alphabet Teaching Resources – Sure, you know the English alphabet very well, but it’s not enough for your students. Instead of simply relying on a whiteboard and your pen, you should pick some interesting resources to teach your students the alphabet in a more fun way.
Phonics and Spelling Resources – If you want, you can utilize some good phonics and spelling resources you can find in the section of ESL books for adults. These will help you work on the pronunciation and accent of your adult students.
Context-Based Grammar and Vocabulary Resources – Adults who come to ESL classes need to learn English for practical reasons in their daily lives. They will be highly benefited from learning context-based grammar and vocabulary. This will help them to learn more in less time.
Resources related to Body Language – Language is all about communication. So, when you are teaching a language, especially to adults, you will need some resources based on body language in addition to regular English language learning books. This will help your students communicate more effectively.
Visual Learning Resources – Learning made through visual resources sticks to a person for a very long. You can utilize visual learning resources to make learning fun and enriching for your adult students.
Teaching kids and adults both give you a fulfilling experience. You just need to tweak your way of imparting knowledge according to their needs, and you’ll be a loved and respected teacher.